The Budget voices in our head
AND so we reach that time of year when the true civil war in this country is revealed again, when we truly see what a divided country we are.
It is a division that is deeply ingrained. Indeed, it is a civil war in our very psyche, like a national version of the Pixar movie Inside Out or indeed the old cartoon strip The Numskulls, in which various little people in our heads vie for supremacy.
Mr Responsible has been in charge in our heads recently. He reminds us that we got ourselves in terrible trouble recently with recklessness. And he tells us we should think about the long term and balancing the books. Mr Responsible is the one who makes us tell pollsters we don’t want tax cuts and that we want more money put into public services instead.
But at this time of year Mr Responsible gets a lot of lip from Miss Reckless, who points out that no matter how much more money we put into health and homelessness it’s still as bad as ever, and the public sector only wastes our money anyway. And the country is supposed to be in recovery, so why the hell isn’t there going to be a giveaway Budget? Miss Reckless points out that we deserve a few goodies after what we’ve all put up with in the past decade. And she sees that Paschal has a billion in the Budget, and she wants MORE STUFF NOW.
Miss Prudence backs up Mr Responsible, pointing out that we can’t afford to be complacent because of Brexit. Mr Denial jumps in at this point to say: “Brexit? Never going to happen. And even if it does it’ll be great for us.”
Mr Boomy bursts in at this point to say our gaffs are going up in value by 50 quid a day and he for one wants to spend some of his new wealth, “so cough up Paschal and Leo. We’ve done our penance”.
Miss Guilty chips in timidly at this point to say we’ve been here before, and we know how all that ended. And she doesn’t feel comfortable with this resurgence in materialism and going out eating and drinking when there are families living in hotels.
Mr Swotty weighs in to support her, saying the Fiscal Advisory Council and John FitzGerald and lots of other economists are all agreed the economy is in danger of overheating if we keep stimulating it with giveaway budgets.
Mr Populist interjects at this point to say: “If the economy is in danger of overheating, how come we aren’t all richer? What did the economists and experts ever get right before? Did any of them predict the crash? Well? Did they?”
One of the loudest voices in our head, Mr Likes-to-Moan, then urges everyone to calm down and says the main thing is that whatever is in the Budget, we won’t be happy — and that’s the main thing.